UN-Backed Environmental Clean-Up Weekend
MORE THAN 100 COUNTRIES SET TO TAKE PART IN UN-BACKED ENVIRONMENTAL CLEAN-UP WEEKEND
New York, Aug 2 2006 12:00PM
Some 500 organisations, from local community groups and schools to government departments from 119 countries, are set to take part in this year’s United Nations-backed ‘Clean Up the World Weekend’ from 15-17 September, the flagship event of an annual campaign that mobilizes over 30 million volunteers globally to conserve the environment.
They will take part in a wide range of activities, including cleaning up local streets, waterways, parks and beaches, environmental projects such as tree planting, energy conservation and water recycling, and education programmes, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) said in a press release.
“Over 100 countries have joined Clean Up the World since the first campaign 14 years ago, but an extremely enthusiastic response has been received from developing countries in Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America, including some of the world’s most troubled nations,” said Clean Up the World Chairman and Founder Dr Ian Kiernan.
Africa has the highest participation in both the number of countries (28) and organisations (171) that have joined the Clean Up the World campaign so far, with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ghana, and Nigeria leading the way, UNEP said. The campaign has also registered record participation by groups from Argentina, India, Mexico, the Philippines, and Spain.
Along with primary partner UNEP, the campaign is also supported by Veolia Environnement, National Geographic Channels International, Brambles, Qantas and the Australian Government through its Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The Clean Up campaign started in 1989 when an Australian solo-yachtsman and builder Ian Kiernan, appalled by the amount of rubbish he came across while sailing, organized a clean up of the Sydney Harbour, during which some 40,000 volunteers removed rusted car bodies, plastics, glass bottles and cigarette butts from the water.
Separately, UNEP announced today that Afghanistan’s leaders recently approved regulations to protect the ozone layer, which will be issued under the country’s environment laws and which in turn will allow the authorities to control the transboundary trade in ozone depleting substances.